Lecture on drone surveys on orcas at The Whale Musuem

  • Wed Sep 13th, 2017 10:08am
  • Life

Submitted by the Whale Museum

On Sept. 19, Dr. John Durban from NOAA and Dr. Holly Fearnbach from SR3 SeaLife Response, Rehabilitation and Research will present on “Assessing whale health, with an update on drone surveys of resident killer whale condition.” The lecture will take place at 6:30 p.m. at The Whale Museum.

Dr. Durban leads the Cetacean Health and Life History Program at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. Dr. Fearnbach is the Marine Mammal Research Director for SR3, a non-profit organization in the Pacific Northwest dedicated to improving marine wildlife health and welfare. In partnership, John and Holly have pioneered methods for studying the health of free-ranging whales and dolphins, including the use of aerial photographs to monitor the growth and body condition on Southern Resident killer whales over the past decade. In this talk, John will outline several ongoing research projects and methods used by his program, particularly the use of drones to noninvasively assess whale health. Holly will give an update on their current project to use drone-based photography to infer the nutritional status of both Southern and Northern Resident killer whales, in collaboration with the Vancouver Aquarium’s Coastal Ocean Research Institute.

The Summer Lecture Series is dedicated to providing our local community and visiting public with knowledge and wonder of the natural world. The lectures are given by local or visiting experts in their field. Join us as they share their recent research projects, stories, and experiences. Each lecture is free and held at The Whale Museum. Donations are greatly appreciated. For more information, call 378-4710 ext.30.

The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales through education and research. The Whale Museum can be found online at www.whalemuseum.org.